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One Size Fits All? The Costs and Benefits of a Common Framework of Administration in the European Union

Anne Stevens

When the European project was conceived in the 1950s it was both natural and appropriate that its institutions should be held together by a common framework of financial and personnel administration. Since 1998 there have been major reforms of both the staff regulation and the financial regulations but they continue to apply to an increased range of institutions which now vary markedly both in size and in functions. Despite work on the European Commission, for example by us, Kassim and Bauer, there has been little investigation of the application of the reforms in the other institutions. Yet important questions arise. To what extent were the other institutions more or less reluctantly caught up in pressures for reform that derived principally from the Commission' problems? What has the impact of reform been outside the Commission? Has its provenance and style had repercussions on this (Bauer 2008)? This paper seeks to examine the application of the reformed Financial and Staff Regulations in different institutions and circumstances. It will consider whether the benefits of a unified administrative framework still outweigh the costs.



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